Second homes: In search of work-life balance, better health | Inquirer Business

Second homes: In search of work-life balance, better health

/ 10:13 PM September 08, 2023

Interest in vacation and farm properties, just an hour and a half to two hours from the bustling metropolis, grew as the country entered midway through the pandemic.

As the city was in the midst of a long lockdown and families got stuck in their cramped urban homes, desire for the outdoors, fresh air and open spaces intensified. And when mobility was allowed, we saw not only revenge travel toward the provinces but also the renewed demand for more permanent second homes.


Weekend destinations

Second homes are often seen as weekend destinations to get away from the air pollution, noise, traffic and general density of the city. The nearer the second home is to the city, the more frequent its use, but the farther they are, the longer the time spent per visit.


There have been increasing land transactions in provinces south of the metro, where travel has become more convenient and faster due to improved infrastructure. One example is Batangas which has picturesque landscapes, vast farmlands, white sandy beaches and mountains, and a cool climate. It has become the preferred location for the emerging trend of sustainable living focusing on health and well-being.

Tiny homes

Second homes, however, are no longer exclusively for the rich.


Tiny homes have, as of late, gained attention worldwide, as these offer compact yet comfortable living spaces that maximize function but minimize environmental impact. They are highly efficient and easier to maintain—as well as affordable compared to the traditional vacation homes. We have seen on social media the innovative and beautiful designs that have made these tiny homes attractive. These homes do not need a large plot of land to sit on. Sizes of the structures range from 20 sqm to 60 sqm, and 100 sqm to 750 sqm for the land.

Tiny homes and weekend micro farms are two trends which have allowed the middle and upper middle-class Filipinos to afford the second home lifestyle. Combining the two provides the benefits of comfortable and sustainable living at an affordable price.

We are seeing investments ranging from a low of P500,000 to as high as P4 million for these second homes. The eco-friendly nature of tiny homes complements the desire for self-sufficiency and healthy food through organic farming methods.

Health benefits

This alternative second home lifestyle also offers a myriad of health benefits.

Reduced stress. An office employee will feel the pressures of deadlines and work start to disappear as one drives along the expressways, then exits to the provincial highways and finally toward the rural farm-to-market roads approaching the second home.

Improved physical health. Weekend farming encourages physical activity and creates a sense of accomplishment. This leads to better cardiovascular health and improved overall fitness.

Mental well-being. The morning sun on the face, wind at the back, and being close to nature often lead to reduced anxiety.

Better nutrition. The provinces provide the opportunity for better access to “homegrown” produce or “organic” vegetables and “free range” meats. This allows you to avoid processed foods in the city, enabling you to lead a healthier diet.

Community. Second home projects or locations typically cluster like-minded people, thus fostering a sense of belonging. There is much opportunity for social interaction especially for those who regularly go to their second homes.

Fulfilling lifestyle

Improved infrastructure will likely prove to be a boon for these types of homes, enabling the increased adoption of a self-sufficient, healthy and sustainable lifestyle. A convergence of tiny homes and weekend farming as second homes provides a unique opportunity for individuals and families looking for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

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As more people embrace this lifestyle, Batangas is poised to become a haven, offering the perfect balance of nature, health, and well-being. Go out and drive the expressways toward the western side of Batangas, and search for possible homes not just in the beaches but the farmlands. Get a feel of those areas, talk to the locals. There just might be the perfect second home waiting for you as you look forward to a more fulfilling life.

The author is the director and group head of Research, Consultancy and Valuation at Leechiu Property Consultants Inc., a premier real estate advisory firm. For more information, visit

TAGS: property

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